Back to health, with flexible and friendly support
12 December 2022
The Birches Extra Care scheme, in Woodley, offers a safe and homely setting for people aged 55 and over.
Pam has lived at The Birches for four and a half years, and says she is perfectly happy there. She particularly likes the location and would often walk the mile to the
town centre and back. She also likes the social aspect and lives alongside many people she regards as her good friends.
Extra Care Housing is suitable for people who enjoy an independent lifestyle, with the added peace of mind that support is at hand, if needed. Pam’s recent
experience highlights just how important this is.
Pam had very little need to call on the support available at the Birches until earlier this year. She had a fall whilst away on holiday, which left her with injuries to
her shoulder and legs. She then had another fall in her flat, which set back her recovery. At the time, Pam was thankful for the specialist equipment the team have
onsite, she said
“I was in a bad way, but was raised to my feet by this incredible machine.”
The Optalis team put in place 4 care calls a day, initially. Pam said
“My injuries meant there was little I could do for myself to start with. The staff would help me wash, dress, and prepare my meals. The care here has been
fantastic; I can’t thank them enough.”
As Pam started to feel an improvement, she was able to reduce the support on her terms. The first care call she cancelled was the lunchtime call, as she felt
well enough to return to dining socially in the onsite restaurant.
Pam commented on the team’s approach
“They are so patient and caring and always on hand to give advice. They were not bossy but gave me enough encouragement to have a go for myself.”
Pam’s determination also played a large part in her recovery, she said
“I believe it’s up to the individual to make the effort, you can’t just sit back, you have to help yourself. As I was gradually feeling myself again I would start getting ready before my care call, doing the tasks I felt comfortable and able to do.”
Almost 3 months on and Pam’s support has been reduced to just one call a day. She said
“I’m feeling much stronger, but the staff just pop their head around the door to check everything is ok. I really appreciate this, as I’m not quite fully independent
Another advantage of the Extra Care environment is that Pam already had good established relationships with the team. She reflected,
“I feel so lucky that I didn’t have to rely on strangers to help me through this traumatic episode in my life. My family are also much happier knowing I’m being well looked after.”
Now 89 years old, Pam said:
“I’ve learnt if I slow down, I move through life more smoothly”.
Although, she is still setting herself goals, and the latest one is to become proficient on her new iPad before she turns 90.
The Good Care Series - Communication and independence
Our next article focuses on improvements made to one of our residential care home environments, which have helped create a culture that supports communication and promotes independence.